Frances McDormand in the film NOMADLAND. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2020 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved
Frances McDormand in the film NOMADLAND. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2020 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

The 43rd Denver Film Festival (DFF43) kicks off tonight, Opening Night, October 22 with Searchlight’s NOMADLAND. The film will also receive DFF43’s Rare Pearl Award which will be accepted by director, Chloé Zhao, in a video presentation before the film screening. The Rare Pearl Award highlights a film whose beauty and uniqueness stand out as finest of the year. Recent Rare Pearl Award winners include Portrait of a Lady on Fire (DFF42) and Roma (DFF41).

The Denver Film Festival will include two additional Red Rocks Red Carpet Drive-In experiences: Centerpiece title NINE DAYS from Sony Pictures Classics on Saturday, October 24, and Big Night title AMMONITE from Neon on Thursday, Octber 29.

NINE DAYS will receive three DFF Awards: Emerging Filmmaker Award for Edson Oda, and Excellence in Acting Awards for both Winston Duke and Zazie Beetz, as well as feature a virtual post-film conversation, hosted by Lisa Kennedy, featuring all three award winners and Producer, Jason Michael Berman.

Making his feature-film debut after a series of highly acclaimed and award-winning short films and music videos, Brazilian-born writer-director Edson Oda delivers a heartfelt and meditative vision of human souls in limbo, aching to be born against unimaginable odds, yet hindered by forces beyond their will.

Trinbagonian–American actor, Winston Duke is best known for his role as M’Baku in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. He also starred in Jordan Peele’s horror film Us.

German-American actress, Zazie Beetz stars in the FX comedy-drama series Atlanta (2016–present), for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Beetz has also appeared in the disaster film Geostorm (2017), and has played the Marvel Comics character Domino in the superhero film Deadpool 2 (2018) and Arthur Fleck/Joker’s neighbor in the psychological thriller Joker (2019).

43rd Denver Film Festival Lineup

NOMADLAND
Opening Night, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.
Red Rocks Drive-In Experience
Women+Film

Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, NOMADLAND spotlights real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.

NINE DAYS
Centerpiece, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.
Red Rocks Drive-In Experience

Will (Winston Duke) spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View (POV) on TV’s of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates — unborn souls — arrive at Will’s to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma (Zazie Beetz), a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life.

AMMONITE
Big Night, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.
Red Rocks Drive-In Experience
Sheila K. O’Brien Spotlight on UK/Ireland Cinema

In the 1840s, acclaimed self-taught paleontologist Mary Anning works alone on the wild and brutal Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis. The days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now hunts for common fossils to sell to rich tourists to support herself and her ailing widowed mother. When one such tourist, Roderick Murchison, arrives in Lyme on the first leg of a European tour, he entrusts Mary with the care of his young wife Charlotte, who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. Mary, whose life is a daily struggle on the poverty line, cannot afford to turn him down but, proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, she clashes with her unwanted guest. They are two women from utterly different worlds. Yet despite the chasm between their social spheres and personalities, Mary and Charlotte discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realization that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.

Films in Competition:

Krzysztof Kieślowski Award for Best Feature Film

APPLES – Greece/Poland/Slovenia / Director: Christos Nikou
ATLANTIS – Ukraine / Director: Valentyn Vasyanovych
NADIA, BUTTERFLY – Canada / Director: Pascal Plante
PREPARATIONS TO BE TOGETHER FOR AN UNKOWN PERIOD OF TIME – Hungary / Director: Lili Horvát
THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION – Lesotho/South Africa/Italy / Director: Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
UNDINE – Germany/France / Director: Christian Petzold

Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary

76 DAYS – USA/China / Director: Weixi Chen, Hao Wu
ACASA, MY HOME – Romania/Germany / Director: Radu Ciorniciuc
MLK/FBI – USA / Director: Sam Pollard
THE REASON I JUMP – UK/USA / Director: Jerry Rothwell
SOME KIND OF HEAVEN – USA / Director: Lance Oppenheim
SONGS OF REPRESSION – Denmark / Director: Marianne Hougen-Moraga, Estephan Wagner

American Independent Award

THE ATLANTIC CITY STORY – USA / Director: Henry Butash
FAREWELL AMOR – USA / Director: Ekwa Msangi
FREELAND – USA / Director: Kate McLean, Mario Furloni
FUNNY FACE – USA / Director: Tim Sutton
MATERNA – USA / Director: David Gutnik
SHIVA BABY – USA / Director: Emma Seligman

FEATURE FILMS:

76 DAYS – USA/China / Director: Weixi Chen, Hao Wu
THE 8TH – USA/Ireland / Director: Maeve O’Boyle, Lucy Kennedy, Aideen Kane
ACASA, MY HOME – Romania/Germany / Director: Radu Ciorniciuc
APPLES – Greece/Poland/Slovenia / Director: Christos Nikou
ASSASSINS – USA / Director: Ryan White
THE ATLANTIC CITY STORY – USA / Director: Henry Butash
ATLANTIS – Ukraine / Director: Valentyn Vasyanovych
BECKY – USA / Director: Cary Murnion, Jonathan Milott
THE BEST YEARS – Italy / Director: Gabriele Muccino
BEYOND ZERO – USA / Director: Nathan Havey
BLEEDING AUDIO – USA / Director: Chelsea Christer
BREAKING BREAD – USA/Israel / Director: Beth Elise Hawk
BUILT BEAUTIFUL – USA / Director: Mariel Rodriguez-McGill
CANE FIRE – USA / Director: Anthony Banua-Simon
THE CAPOTE TAPES – USA/UK / Director: Ebs Burnough
CHARLATAN – Czech Republic/Ireland/Poland/Slovakia / Director: Agnieszka Holland
CITY HALL – USA / Director: Frederick Wiseman
CITY SO REAL – USA / Director: Steve James
CODED BIAS – USA/UK/China / Director: Shalini Kantayya
THE COMEBACK TRAIL – USA / Director: George Gallo
COMING CLEAN – USA / Director: Ondi Timoner
COOK F** KILL – Czech Republic / Director: Mira Fornay
CRESTONE – USA / Director: Marnie Ellen Hertzler
DESPITE THE FOG – Italy / Director: Goran Paskaljevic
DETENTION – Taiwan / Director: John Hsu
DOPE IS DEATH – Canada / Director: Mia Donovan
ECHO – Iceland/France / Director: Rúnar Rúnarsson
EMA – Chile / Director: Pablo Larraín
THE FANDOM – USA / Director: Ash Kreis, Eric Risher
FAREWELL AMOR – USA / Director: Ekwa Msangi
A FERAL WORLD – USA / Director: David Liban
FIREBALL – USA / Director: Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer
FREELAND – USA / Director: Kate McLean, Mario Furloni
FUNNY FACE – USA / Director: Tim Sutton
GUNDA – Norway/USA / Director: Victor Kossakovsky
THE HEIST OF THE CENTURY – Argentina / Director: Ariel Winograd
HERE WE ARE – Israel/Italy / Director: Nir Bergman
I AM GRETA – Sweden / Director: Nathan Grossman
IWOW: I WALK ON WATER – USA / Director: Khalik Allah
KEYBOARD FANTASIES: THE BEVERLY GLENN-COPELAND STORY – UK / Director: Posy Dixon
THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS – USA / Director: Robert Machoian
KUBRICK BY KUBRICK – France/USA / Director: Gregory Monro
THE LAMB – Italy/France / Director: Mario Piredda
LAPSIS – USA / Director: Noah Hutton
LARA – Germany / Director: Jan-Ole Gerster
THE LETTER – Kenya / Director: Maia Lekow, Christopher King
LITTLE FISH – USA/Canada / Director: Chad Hartigan
LYNN + LUCY – UK / Director: Fyzal Boulifa
MATERNA – USA / Director: David Gutnik
MEAT THE FUTURE – Canada / Director: Liz Marshall
MINARI – USA / Director: Lee Isaac Chung
MLK/FBI – USA / Director: Sam Pollard
MOGUL MOWGLI – UK/USA / Director: Bassam Tariq
MONUMENTS – USA / Director: Jack C. Newell
MOST GUYS ARE LOSERS – USA / Director: Eric Ustian
NADIA, BUTTERFLY – Canada / Director: Pascal Plante
NASRIN – USA/Iran / Director: Jeff Kaufman
NEVIA – Italy / Director: Nunzia De Stefano
THE NEW BAUHAUS – USA / Director: Alysa Nahmias
THE NEW CORPORATION: THE UNFORTUNATELY NECESSARY SEQUEL – Canada / Director: Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott
NEW ORDER – Mexico/France / Director: Michel Franco
NIGHT OF THE KINGS – France/Côte d’Ivoire/Canada/Senegal / Director: Philippe Lacôte
NOCTURNAL – UK / Director: Nathalie Biancheri
ON FELLINI’S FOOTSTEPS – Switzerland/France / Director: Gérald Morin
ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENEZUELA – Venezuela/UK/Brazil/Austria / Director: Anabel Rodriguez Rios
ONE OF THESE DAYS – Germany/USA / Director: Bastian Günther
ORDINARY JUSTICE – Italy/Switzerland / Director: Chiara Bellosi
PATRICK – Belgium/Netherlands / Director: Tim Mielants
PREPARATIONS TO BE TOGETHER FOR AN UNKOWN PERIOD OF TIME – Hungary / Director: Lili Horvát
THE REASON I JUMP – UK/USA / Director: Jerry Rothwell
SHIVA BABY – USA / Director: Emma Seligman
SOME KIND OF HEAVEN – USA / Director: Lance Oppenheim
SONGS OF REPRESSION – Denmark / Director: Marianne Hougen-Moraga, Estephan Wagner
SOW THE WIND – Italy/France/Greece / Director: Danilo Caputo
SPRING BLOSSOM – France / Director: Suzanne Lindon
STARDUST – UK / Director: Gabriel Range
SURVIVAL SKILLS – USA / Director: Quinn Armstrong
THERE IS NO EVIL – Germany/Czech Republic/Iran / Director: Mohammad Rasoulof
THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION – Lesotho/South Africa/Italy / Director: Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
THOU SHALT NOT HATE – Italy / Director: Mauro Mancini
THREE SUMMERS – Brazil/France / Director: Sandra Kogut
‘TIL KINGDOM COME – Israel/UK / Director: Maya Zinshtein
THE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORN – Austria/Germany / Director: Sandra Wollner
THE TRUTH ABOUT LA DOLCE VITA – Italy / Director: Giuseppe Pedersoli
UNDER THE OPEN SKY – Japan / Director: Miwa Nishikawa
UNDINE – Germany/France / Director: Christian Petzold
VIVOS – Germany / Director: Ai Weiwei
WET SEASON – Singapore/Taiwan / Director: Anthony Chen
WILDFIRE – UK/Ireland / Director: Cathy Brady
THE WOMAN WHO RAN – South Korea / Director: Hong Sangsoo
WOMEN IN BLUE – USA / Director: Deirdre Fishel

SHORT FILMS:

THE ABC’S OF THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE STUCK AT HOME – USA / Director: Julie Reiters
THE ADORATION – USA / Director: Sarah B. Jacobs
ALL THE STUDENT COUNCIL’S MEN – USA / Director: Hunter F. Burns
AMONG US – USA/Switzerland / Director: Stephan Eigenmann
BETYE SAAR: TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS – USA / Director: Christine Turner
BLOCKS – USA / Director: Bridget Moloney
BUCK – USA / Director: Elegance Bratton, Jovan James
D-REP: FIGHT FOR LIFE – USA / Director: Michael Mazzanti
UN DIABLE DANS LA POCHE – France / Director: Antoine Bonnet, Mathilde Loubes
DO NOT SPLIT – USA / Director: Anders Hammer
THE ENCIRCLEMENT – USA / Director: Erik Sween
EXAM – Iran / Director: Sonia K. Hadad
THE EXTINCTION OF UP – USA / Director: Randy Boyum
THE FABRIC OF YOU – UK / Director: Josephine Lohoar Self
FRESH TRACKS – USA / Director: Hans Rosenwinkel
THE GARAGE – USA / Director: Daniel McMellen
THE GREAT MALAISE – Canada / Director: Catherine Lepage
HALPATE – USA / Director: Adam Piron, Adam Khalil
HEREAFTER – USA / Director: Kristen Williams
HUDSON GEESE – USA / Director: Bernardo Britto
IN WAKE OF THE CRASHING DAWN – USA / Director: Bruce Tetsuya
INCLINE – USA / Director: Jonathan Perkins
LANCE (IN A NECK BRACE) – USA / Director: Chloe Aktas
LITTLE CHIEF – USA / Director: Erica Tremblay
MIZUKO – USA/Japan / Director: Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo
MY FATHER’S HOUSE – USA / Director: Rob Shearer
MY JUKE-BOX – France / Director: Grelier Florentine
NO, I DON’T WANT TO DANCE! – UK / Director: Andrea Vinciguerra
PILLARS – USA / Director: Haley Elizabeth Anderson
SH_T HAPPENS – Czech Republic/Slovakia/France / Director: Michaela Mihalyi, David Stumpf
THE SHAWL – USA / Director: Sara Kiener
SIX NIGHTS – USA / Director: Robert Brogden
SONG OF CLOUDS – Nepal / Director: Ankit Poudel
SPLINTERED – USA / Director: Isabel Aurichio
STATES OF CONTENTION – USA / Director: Diek
T – USA / Director: Keisha Rae Witherspoon
THIS IS AN ADDRESS – USA / Director: Sasha Wortzel
THOUGHTS & PRAYERS – USA / Director: Hope Ballard
TIPSY TALK: A TIME AND PLACE TO TWERK – USA / Director: Amber Washington
TOOMAS BENEATH THE VALLEY OF THE WILD WOLVES – Estonia/Croatia/France / Director: Chintis Lundgren
UNFORGIVABLE – El Salvador / Director: Marlén Viñayo
UTUQAQ – USA / Director: Iva Radivojevic
WELCOME STRANGERS – USA / Director: Dia Sokol Savage
WHITE EYE – Israel / Director: Tomer Shushan
WONG PING’S FABLES 2 – Hong Kong / Director: Wong Ping
WOOD CHILD AND THE HIDDEN FOREST MOTHER – UK / Director: Stephen Irwin

STUDENT SHORT FILMS:

THE BALLOON CATCHER – Japan / Director: Isaku Kaneko
BITTU – India/USA / Director: Karishma Dev Dube
CATGOT – Hong Kong / Director: Ho Tsz Wing
CUCARACHA – Argentina / Director: Agustin Touriño
DA YIE – Ghana/Belgium / Director: Anthony Nti
DOGS – France / Director: Benjamin Berrebi, Jakub Bednarz, Diego Cristófano, Théo Lenoble, Mohammad Babakoohi, Karlo Pavicic-ravlic, Marthinus Van Rooyen
EADEM CUTIS: THE SAME SKIN – Germany / Director: Nina Hopf
GRAVEDAD – Germany / Director: Matisse Gonzalez
HEADING SOUTH – China/USA / Director: Yuan Yuan
HOME – USA / Director: Adewale Olukayode
I’M HERE – Poland / Director: Julia Orlik
MIZARU – India/USA / Director: Sudarshan Suresh
RIO – Russia / Director: Zhenia Kazankina
SALVAGE – Brazil / Director: Daniel Drummond
SIX TO SIX – Israel / Director: Neta Cohen
SOUKOON – Lebanon / Director: Farah Shaer
TAPE – USA / Director: Jojo Erholtz
THERE WERE FOUR OF US – USA/China / Director: Cassie Shao
TO THE DUSTY SEA – France / Director: Héloïse Ferlay
UNDERCUT – USA / Director: Kelly Pike
UNRAVELED – Spain / Director: Arden Colley, Asil Atay, Isabel Wiegand, Kellie Fay
VIKTOR ON THE MOON – Denmark / Director: Christian Arhoff

MUSIC VIDEOS:

1980YEN – TAKOYAKI STORY – Japan / Director: Sawako Kabuki
BABELORD – LOVE WITHOUT WANTING – USA / Director: Dylan Owens
BLACK PUMAS – COLORS – USA / Director: Kristian Mercado
BLUEBOOK – CARNAGE – USA / Director: Rett Rogers
BROKEN BELLS – GOOD LUCK – USA / Director: Nelson De Castro, Kimberly Stuckwisch
DEVOTCHKA – DONE WITH THOSE DAYS – USA / Director: Marcin Biegunajtys, Nick Urata
DOWN TIME – HURTS BEING ALIVE – USA / Director: PERRY HOME VIDEO
GLASS ANIMALS – DREAMLAND – UK / Director: Colin Read
HEART BONES – OPEN RELATIONS – USA / Director: Ed Dougherty
HILTON DRESDEN & ANTFOOD – COUSIN JOHN – THE ARRIVAL – USA / Director: Tom C J Brown
HUSBANDS – MANHORSE – USA / Director: LAMAR+NIK
IGLOOGHOST – AMU – UK / Director: Luke Gibson
JULIA STONE – BREAK – Austrailia / Director: Jessie Hill
KAI – A LITTLE TOO MUCH – USA / Director: Martina Scarpelli
LANE-O – BEAUTIFUL – USA / Director: Jeremy Pape
LEWIS DEL MAR – THE CEILING – USA/Germany / Director: rubberband.
NATHANIEL RATELIFF – AND IT’S STILL ALRIGHT – USA / Director: Rett Rogers
NEOMA – HIMNO – Ecuador/USA / Director: Sebastián Valbuena
OH SEES – GHOLÜ – USA / Director: Leo Nicholson
VAGABON – WATER ME DOWN – USA / Director: Maegan Houang
WAZE & ODYSSEY, GEORGE MICHAEL, MARY J. BLIGE & TOMMY THEO – ALWAYS – USA / Director: Nelson de Castro

EPISODIC CONTENT:

RACIST TREES USA / Director: Sara Newens, Mina T. Son
DISTEMPER USA / Director: Elias Plagianos
EARLY TO RISE USA / Director: Alec Cohen
FREEZE USA / Director: Maya Albanese
SHEPHERDS USA / Director: Lauren Fash

Share this article ...

Subscribe for Blog Updates

Sign up for our latest updates.

Please follow us to get updates online.